Saturday, February 12, 2011

“Where are you?”

February 12, 2011
Saturday of the Fifth Week in Ordinary Time

The LORD God called to Adam and asked him, “Where are you?” Genesis 3:9

“My heart is moved with pity for the crowd, because they have been with me now for three days and have nothing to eat. If I send them away hungry to their homes, they will collapse on the way, and some of them have come a great distance.” Mark 8:2-3

Teach us to count our days aright, that we may gain wisdom of heart.
Relent, O LORD! How long? Have pity on your servants!
Fill us at daybreak with your love, that all our days we may sing for joy.
Make us glad as many days as you humbled us, for as many years as we have seen trouble.
Show your deeds to your servants, your glory to their children.
Psalm 90:12-16

There is a line of monologue in the classic film “The Sound of Music” that Maria utters when leaving the convent to care for the Von Trapp children. “When God closes a door, He opens a window.”

Adam and Eve could have certainly benefitted from the hope that springs from that attitude and prayer. Yet even as the story in Genesis details their exile, God continues to provide for them. God provides clothing to keep them warm and land to farm for food. Despite their betrayal, the Lord remained moved with love and pity for his children.

While some depict the God of the Old Testament as the vengeful God, in these actions we still see the love and connection that is the legacy passed along to Jesus who was moved to pity for the crowd that had nothing to eat. Once again, in our Gospel reading, we encounter a God who provides, a God who transforms the people around him by His loving actions.

This week, in our Engaging Spirituality class, we read a letter written by Ched Myers in which he recounted a story about dumpster diving with the late Philip Berrigan. While fishing around for food, the elder Berrigan asked the younger Myer, “Where is Christian hope?” The young Californian had no answer. Berrigan replied that hope is wherever you are.

No matter where we might be – physically, emotionally, economically, politically, or spiritually – the Lord continues to seek us out. When exiled from Eden, the Lord provides. When stranded in a deserted place, the Lord seeks us out.

“Where are you?” The Lord wants to find us and help us no matter where we are or what we have done. Whether we are in a fancy restaurant, an airport, our living room or an inner city Baltimore dumpster, hope is there because the Lord is there with us, looking for us, wanting with all his heart to help us transform what we have into the abundance of loving loaves and fulfilling fishes to meet our every need.

Do you feel far away from the Lord today? What can you do to close that distance and capture the hope that springs from the Lord to whatever place in which we find ourselves?